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I have been on antibiotics after having several carbuncals under my arm. The doctor wanted to open it up but I am so scared of needles and tried more antibiotics. The first time everything dissapeared and just before they healed another carbuncle started. What can I do to prevent it from recurring? Its the first time ive had something like this and Ive never had any problems with my skin?

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  • Dr. Chris February 4, 2011

    Sometimes incision and drainage is necessary and you should have followed through with your doctor’s recommendations. Antibiotics alone may be sufficient depending on the size but the dosage is an important factor that has to be taken into account to avoid a recurrence. Do not try using additional antibiotics without your doctor’s supervision.

    It is important to ascertain the cause of these recurrent boils. It may be due to bacteria on the skin entering the deeper layers through tiny cuts (be careful of hair removal methods for the underams if you are doing so), dry skin, scratching due to pre-existing skin diseases and so on. Another factor to consider is systemic factors – diabetes, HIV infection and so on. Good hygiene and skin care of course goes a long way in preventing this condition but if there is an underlying condition like diabetes then proper treatment and management is important in this regard.

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